I’ve just come across an excellent post regarding why people should avoid using CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA is designed to prevent webmasters from having their sites bombarded with spam by introducing a test which must be past before a comment/contact form can be submitted. Unfortunately many of these captchas are visual and can not be read by blind people who use screen reading software (I.E. software which converts text into speech and braille enabling them to read a computer’s screen). There are (sometimes) audio alternatives to the visual captcha on which a visually impaired person may click, however there are still a lot of sites who do not use audio captchas and such captchas are of no practical use to a person who is both blind and profoundly deaf.

As mentioned in a previous post there is a plug-in, for Firefox called Webvisum which allows a visually impaired person to submit a CAPTCHA, have it solved and sent back to them. This is a good tool, however it is not 100 per cent effective. Only yesterday I attempted to register for a site using a purely visual captcha. Even after several attempts, using Webvisum the CAPTCHA remained unsolved.

For a good discussion of the reasons not to use CAPTCHA please see http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/11/14/the-10-point-case-against-captcha-use/#comment-21053.


About kevinmorris101

I live and work in London and blog as a hobby. If you would like to contact me please send an email to animalia at shiftmail.com (the address is rendered in this manner in order to try and defeat spammers)!
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  1. timethief says:

    Thanks so much for drawing attention to my post and my 10 point argument against CAPTCHA use. The most frustrating struggles I have faced as a visually challenged person in the blogosphere have been with CAPTCHAs. Commenting on some blogs that have CAPTCHA without the audio option radio button has become so discouraging that I have stopped even trying. Adding insult to injury I made the discovery that some are reaping an income from CAPTCHA use. As I don’t wish to promote the company involved I won’t be referring to it by name.

    Best wishes with your blogging and thanks again. 🙂

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